The practice where ‘project works’, usually submitted by final-year students of tertiary institutions prior to graduation, end up in shelves to gather dust would soon become a thing of the past. The government, through the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP), would soon outdoor a programme meant to convert such works into actionable and profitable business ventures.
Under the programme, each university would be required to select and submit its top ten best project works to NEIP.
Authors of the selected project works would then be contacted and taken through training on their chosen projects, after which they would be given start-up capital to bring their dreams into reality.
This was disclosed by the Director of Business Support at the NEIP, Franklin Owusu Karikari, at the official launch of the Sunyani Technical University’s Entrepreneurship Hub and Business Ideas Incubation Centre in Sunyani.
It is, among others, expected to empower students of the university through skills development, training and awareness creation as well as shape business ideas.
The centre is being managed by the Business/Entrepreneurship Development and External Funding Unit (BEDEFU) of the university, and operates in collaboration with the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme and the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), formerly the National Board for Small Scale industries (NBSSI).
Mr Owusu Karikari commended STU for setting up the centre to help nurture and train young people to come out with innovative and business ideas.
Thinking outside the box
The Pro Vice-Chancellor of STU, Prof Justice Solomon Korantwi-Barimah, called on the youth to think outside the box, and come out with problem-solving ideas which make meaningful impacts on the country and the world at large.
He pledged management’s commitment to efforts aimed at empowering students to be creative and to attain greater height in their academic and career pursuits.
The Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science and Technology, Dr Jones Lewis Arthur, explained that the Business Ideas Incubation Centre seeks to become a catalyst in facilitating the emergence of competent first-generation entrepreneurs and transition of existing SMEs into growth-oriented enterprises through entrepreneurship education, training, research and institution building.
“Students connected to the Centre would be counseled to take-up innovative projects in their career, for which the students will be supported with technical expert counseling to execute the project, access funds required to execute the project, and continuous monitoring to complete the business model,” he explained.